When should you begin shed hunting? Well, it depends.
The beautiful thing about being a whitetail hunter is that there's always a task to be done. Even when it is not hunting season there are many goals to accomplish to get ready for the next hunting season. What should you be doing now? Prepare yourself for shed hunting.
The catch 22 is that there are not rigid dates on the shed hunting season. I'm not referring to state regulations, per se, but the fact that there isn't a set time when whitetails begin dropping their antlers.
The Buck Advisors provide some great tips on how and when to begin shed hunting.
Trail Camera Surveys
Trail camera surveys are helpful for many reasons. One, you can see which deer survived the cold winter and hunting season. Two, you can tell when bucks begin to shed their antlers. Not all bucks will shed at the same time, but if you are focusing on finding your hit-list sheds then you will know when to go in and begin searching.
After Snow Melts
The Buck Advisors, as do many hunters, like to refer to antlers as "white gold." This issue is when it snows they're nearly impossible to find. But when the snow melts it's time to lace up your boots and hit the ground running. Typically, harsh temperatures put stress on the deer, causing them to shed.
As Soon As Possible
If you think deer are shedding their antlers it's time for you to begin searching. Chances are other hunters will want to as well. As the saying goes, "the early bird gets the worm."